Tag Archives: track dolly

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In this video, i'm running through some of the features you'll find with the new Cinevate HoriZen video slider. Out of the box the slider can be used directly on any flat surface, and includes non-marring small adjustable feet for minor leveling adjustments. If your'e looking to use it on more aggressive terrain, you can opt-in for the All Terrain Legs that add a lot more height and stability.

You can find several threaded points under the HoriZen for mounting it to tripods or stands. The slider is trapped between the Aluminum frame, so you can use the slider completely inverted. The Variable Magnetic Braking feature is by far a true game changer when it comes to video sliders. Through opposing magnetic forces similar to brakes on an Electric Super Train it's an ingenious feature with zero friction and zero wear.

I've never worked with a smoother video slider, and the ability to fine tune a 'drag feel' according to the weight of your rig or to your preference is pretty amazing. Perfect for heavier camera setups, but can be tuned to the same feel for smaller lightweight camera systems. Along the sides of the slider are sliding threaded mounts for you to add cine-arms or other accessories.

If you're looking to get more advanced motion control, the Cinevate HoriZen Slider can be upgraded to use one of Cinevate's Motion Control systems.

Cinevate HoriZen Video Slider
learn more about Cinevate HoriZen Slider Cinevate HoriZen Video Slider

Product Features:
Integrated 100mm bowl center mount with 75mm option
Tripod center mount and integrated c-stand mounts
Adjustable stops
Carriage locks anywhere on the rails via the precision disc brake system
Fully integrated caged flywheel
Fully anodized solid CNC machined 60-61 aluminum
Stainless steel fasteners eliminates corrosion conerns
Positive lock washer/tiedown (includes both Imperial and Metric tiedowns)
Quick-Stow All Terrain Legs
Fluidic Drag Control
Kevlar reinforced belt
Versatile accessory track mounting system
Enhanced camera sled stability profile
Integrated bubble level
100LBS Capacity
3FT Weights 16LBS

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Our friends over at Glide Gear is launching a Giveaway. Today they are offering up a DEV Dolly System which is basically a heavy duty track dolly operating on a total of 12 roller bearing wheels! Prop it up over two tripods or stands and you have yourself a super smooth and uber quiet slider that can support camera packages up to 50 lbs of weight.


Giveway is available to USA Residents over 18 years of age (see official rules)

Registering is easy, and to qualify for the Glide Gear DEV Dolly System Giveaway follow the link (HERE).

glidegear giveaway dev dolly system
read more button Glide Gear DEV Dolly System Giveaway

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If you're not familiar with the history behind the website name, it's derived from many of the 'cheesy' ideas and 'cheesy' DIY projects that I've built and shared through this website. So here's another 'cheesy' project i've been tinkering with, and I thought i'd share where i'm at with it.

I was looking for a super portable platform dolly in which we can push around a camera operator. Traditional video doorway dollies were too large and expensive for my needs. I wanted something more compact, lightweight, and fast to get setup.

The dolly needed to be able to repeat a set path whether it be forward / back / side to side or even a curved path. For curved paths I wanted to be able to change the size of my arc. A repeatable Arc allows me to perform fixed point shooting. I wanted to be perform all of these functions without carrying a set of dolly tracks. It also had to be compact enough to fit in the trunk of my Honda Fit (small car).

I tested a few different ideas and came up with a very minimal design that only required two adjustable axles. I had no idea if this would even work, so I mocked up a table top version with balsa wood (seen below).

Cheesycam Prototype Dolly DIY Video PLatform Dolly Project

Once I knew the system would fold and track the way I needed it to, I started out with a 2x2 plywood base and bolted up steel square tubes. I literally went through a few sets of wheels including pneumatic ones, but to keep costs down I finally settled on these inexpensive smooth scooter wheels (found here).

Cheesycam DIY Video Dolly Scooter Wheels Track Dolly
find-price-button Scooter Wheels

The swiveling push handle costs under $8 dollars found on Harbor Freight (here). The push handle can be collapsed or telescoped when you need the longer length. It comes with a clip to hold it in place during travel.
cheesycam diy video track dolly push handle swivelswivel folding push dolly handle cheesycam
find-price-button Swivel Folding Compact Push Handle

My design keeps the entire system as compact as the platform itself, but as the axles expand it uses a wider stance. Once the axles are expanded, I have holes drilled into the platform so I can drop a bolt down and lock the axles in place. I have several holes depending on if I need it straight or curved. With these holes in place, I don't need to figure out if my axles are aligned. It literally only takes seconds to setup, break down, and change tracking positions.

DIY Video Dolly Cheesycam Platform curved track dolly arc tripod Cheesycam DIY Doorway Dolly Platform Tripod Track Dolly

You can place a tripod directly over the platform, but you will most likely pick up vibrations if the surface you roll on is not smooth. Our method is to place a camera operator onto the platform with either a hand held stabilizer, a gimbal, fig rig, or at least a shoulder rig. Since many cameras offer image stabilization, we're getting great results with a tool that is fast to setup and easy to move around.

Tripod Mounted DIY Video Dolly Track Curved Arc DIY Video Dolly Stabilized Camera GH4

So now that I was able to prove the basic design concept is functional, i'll probably recreate this with better materials, add some additional missing features (i.e. tripod lock), and give it a more professional finish with a rubber mat over the platform.

Well hopefully you found this project interesting and maybe even inspiring enough to build one yourself. If you liked this you'll probably enjoy some of the other ideas I will be sharing in the near future, so please subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Follow me on Twitter, or Like my Facebook Page.

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Dynamic camera movements can really increase the value of your production, but also requires more man power (and budget). The ideas within this article are based on setting up a second camera on a Video Slider without having a second Camera Operator (completely unattended). This 'B' camera angle offers dynamic movements so that you can cut away to the footage when needed. This is an excellent idea and a few companies are already on the ball with new products (coming soon).

First up is the Kessler Parallax system that offers a mechanical Parallax panning motion to your video head as it tracks left and right. Neat trick, but to get this fully automated you'll have to tie in to the Kessler Oracle system, which not only adds additional cost in the end, but extra equipment to assemble during production. More info at http://www.kessleru.com/2013/09/update-kessler-parallax/

Next we have the RedRock Micro One Man Crew. This motorized slider offers a curved (Parabolic) track to keep your subject in focus as it moves left to right (and back again). Completely silent with options to set a limit on range, and control speeds. The best part is that it is an all in one solution that's quick to set up and quick to store away. Starting at $1500 dollars (seen here), it carries a decent price tag, but it will save you from hiring an extra person to man a sliding camera. After finishing this article, you may come to realize the price to be very reasonable. More info at http://store.redrockmicro.com/OneManCrew

965223IMG_311618IMG_311619
find-price-button Buy- RedRock Micro One Man Crew Motorized Parabolic Slider

Now i've been asked several times if this was something that could be built at home (a.k.a DIY). Here i'm going to introduce a very basic concept on how i've managed to accomplish the same 'ping-pong' / 'back-forth' effect on a cheap DIY motorized slider kit (seen here) with an additional $10 dollars worth of switches, wiring, and a relay, and absolutely no programming. It's basically a simple and dumb electro-mechanical system.

Unmanned, unattended, looping, automated, it all sounds pretty good. Yet you can see how this basic system fails to provide many of the 'Smart' features of the more expensive products coming to market. On the flip-side, one advantage is that with this basic circuit one can expand this idea outside of just a typical slider. (Yes i'm already working on those ideas).

DIY-Motorized-Slider-Cheesycam-Ping-Pong-Back-Forth-Automated
First Test - Building the Circuit Automated Looping Motorized Slider

Here's a schematic of my layout. You'll notice how each side of the motor has both negative and positive from the battery, but only one set is active from the DPDT.
Cheesycam-Schematic-Ping-Pong-Motorized-Slider
Click for Larger Version

How It Works:
Two 3 Pin NO+NC Momentary Micro Switches (as found here) at each end reverse the polarity of the motor each time they are triggered.

DIY Slider micro switch 3 pin NO NC
Example of 3 pin NC/NO Momentary Micro Switch

A 12V DPDT Relay (as found here) is either 'Always ON' until the slider reaches the opposite switch which drops power to the relay.

12V DPDT Relay DIY Slider Motion Control
Example of 12V DPDT Relay with Socket Base

In one direction, the relay is technically 'STUCK ON' by way of a tricky little feedback loop in the circuit. To turn the entire slider on or off, i'm just using the switch from the battery. In this example, i'm not using a speed controller, but one can easily be added.

[Update] If you have trouble following the schematic, I have another article with an easier way to create this setup. Others have successfully got their own sliders working. Check out the other article (found here).

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If you love building and tinkering, here's a look at another fun little project idea from ServoCity.com. They've added a new low friction channel slider that has very low tolerance, can accept a decent load, and that slides over their lightweight aluminum channels. In this video they have assembled a drive system that pulls the carrier through the channel, to work as a video slider.

These aluminum channels can be purchased in various lengths if you're looking for longer or shorter runs, and the motors can be swapped out for faster or slower RPMs depending on your project. The overall design allows these motors to pull quite a bit of weight even vertically, but if you're looking to carry heavier camera systems, just make sure to look into the channel slider that wraps around all four sides (here).

Slider_Kit_with_Phone_MountSlider_vertical_with_phone_mount

Now if you're looking to do some tinkering of your own, I highly suggest taking a look at the dozens of videos showing you step-by-step on how to build these projects at the Servo City YouTube Channel.

For more information about the Slider Kit A, take a look at their Channel Slider Kit product pages which shows examples and a list of parts required to assemble.

ServoCity YouTube Channel
ServoCity.com Precision Building Systems

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Glide Gear has offered to give away one of their Hybrid Track Dolly systems that can interchange wheels from basic rolling casters (for floors), or into a set of track casters for various types of pipe tracks. Included in this product giveaway from Glide Gear is also a set of 12 ft. Aluminum tracks that break down in 4ft sections and come with it's own carry bag. The video (below) shows an example of these products.

This combination of folding Tripod Dolly + Portable Aluminum Track is perfect for those looking for up to 12ft of long range camera movement. The track comes with 3 portable 4-ft sections that are assembled for each side, and lock into end clamps keeping the 1.25" diameter tracks at 28" apart. Each kit comes with their own travel bags. If you're looking for a chance to score one FREE, Register for this Product Giveaway (found here).

More information about these Products

Glide Gear Track DollyGlide Gear Cheesycam Giveaway Track Dolly
Specs: Glide Gear SYL-960 Video Camera Track Dolly Hybrid

  • Folds up with carry bag for easy transportation and storage
  • 4 high quality polyurethane wheels made specifically for track movement
  • Wheel assembly has full 360° swivel with slider capability
  • 6061 anodized aluminum alloy with stainless steel hardware
  • Includes wheeled castors and wrench for conversion to tripod dolly
  • Track wheel assembly has 4-wheels per assembly unit
  • Heavy duty, it can accommodate cameras up to 35lbs
  • Legs can slide out to make it 5" longer
  • Comes with a full 5-year warranty
  • SYL-960SYL-101-set
    Specs: GLIDE GEAR 12 FT ALUMINUM TRACK WITH CARRY BAG

  • 12-ft track with 28" width and 1.25" rails
  • 3 portable 4-ft sections for each side
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Hollow pipe construction
  • Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Smooth running
  • Comes with its own carry bag for convenience and portability
  • Works great with the Glide Gear 960 Track Dolly
  • syl-960_video_camera_track_dolly_hybrid_tl_4e0045101f314b0f6e7331335526064a
    SYL-960 Video Camera Track Dolly Hybrid with 12' Track - Product Giveaway

    The SYL-960 by Glidegear is an amazingly versatile track dolly. This unit will allow you to make world class professional films for a fraction of the price of some of the other upper end track dolly's on the market.
    Register for this Giveaway >>

    Register for the Glidegear SYL-960 Hybrid Track Dolly w/ Swivel & Slide Wheels + 12ft Aluminum Track Product Giveaway - Sponsored by Glide Gear

    Swivex.com Sponsored Product Giveaways
    Swivex Promotional Sponsored Giveaways

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    Proaim Rectopole

    Here's an interesting new tool from Proaim. The Proaim Rectopole is a Carbon Fiber telescoping pole that can reach 14' high, comes with a motorized pan / tilt head, Remote with SD monitor, and a 12' long Dolly Track. In photography terms this is often called Low Aerial Pole, or Mast Pole Aerial Photography typically used for Real Estate or anything that benefits from a birds eye view.

    view from pole mast -1Screen Shot 2012-09-27 at 9.10.38 AM

    The RectoPole can be used in sections if you plan to work at lower heights and looks to include a guying kit (tie down wires) for extra stability on the mast. For those in Real Estate who want to step up their game, or those who plan to shoot their kids next sporting event out on the baseball field, or you can check out the new Proaim RectoPole Telescoping Mast via eBay (Click Here).

    Racto pole-image2Racto pole-image1
    find-price-button ProaimRectopole

    It won't give you you the same stabilization and precision as a motorized system on a track dolly, but for my Aerial shots, I use a simple painters pole and a Palo Alto Adapter (seen here).

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    Dual Track Rail Video Slider Dolly Camera DSLR

    Another Dual Rail Video Camera Dolly / Slider on the market. The wheeled track dolly rides on 42" - 63" metal rails, has adjustable legs, and can support both Bowl Mount fluid heads or standard 3/8" mounted Fluid Heads. The end clamps support tripod mounting, and the dolly can be used both on and off the tracks. Starting around $198 dollars for the 42" version, and can be found via eBay (Click Here).

    Video Camera Dolly Track SliderDual Rail Track Dolly SliderRail Slider Video Camera Dolly
    find-price-button Dual Rail Dolly Track Video Camera Slider

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    Portable camera sliders are great, but they can't replace very long tracked dolly movements. Here's a recent DIY Seated Video Track Dolly project from Vimeo member TLA Productions. If you're planning on tackling one of these projects, here's a video with some tips to make your platform more stable, and some considerations about working on uneven surfaces.

    I've actually built one of these before, and the most critical part is assembling a good wheel set. The wheels really have to be drilled perfectly to sit on the track exactly the same. Not an easy thing to do when you have a 16 wheels. If you drill just a few millimeters off, you'll notice it once you're going down the track.

    For DIY projects, you'll most likely be using off the shelf pipes instead of professionally laid out tracks. For this, the swiveling design wheel set is the best because it can move and correct for misaligned tracks or imperfect alignment of your wheel mounts. A good set of swivel assemblies can also be used on curved tracks. Keep in mind you'll have to dish out more for a decent set of wheels and high quality bearings. There's a few good looking assemblies on eBay (Click Here).

    Swivel Dolly Track Wheel Caster Set AssembliesDIY Wheel Dolly Track Swivel Set
    find-price-button DIY Track Dolly Swivel Wheel Assemblies

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